Keep Them Safe on Halloween

It’s goblin, candy, and party, time again. Halloween can be so much fun for kids and adults.

But how does this evening look to your cat or dog? They see scary, unfamiliar creatures running around screaming. You know that the monster in the scary mask is your neighbor kid, but your pet has no idea. The doorbell rings and rings, which is super confusing for the dog who thinks he needs to bark every time. Glowing jack-o-lanterns with frightening faces and fire inside not only look scary but also smell strange. Decorations that light up, hang from above, make scary sounds, and are motion-activated can be terrifying for your pets. There is candy everywhere, which smells great, but it’s all out of reach.

Halloween is second only to July 4th for creating stressed-out pets. Before you’re in the midst of all the chaos, take a moment to consider your pet’s safety and sanity. 

Unless you have a very rare mellow, unflappable pet, don’t take them trick or treating. Wandering around dark streets filled with screaming, running, and crying kids in costumes is super stressful. Rambunctious teens in masks traveling in packs and looking for mischief can make a cat or dog very nervous. 

Your pet will be much happier where they feel safe. Make sure your pet has a place to hunker down until normality returns. You might set up a bed, treats, and soft music or nature sounds in a room in the back of the house. Take measures to ensure that your pet doesn’t escape when the door opens and closes all night to distribute candy or welcome guests. If you’re hosting a party, consider arranging a quiet sleepover for your pet at a friend’s house.  

Of course, make sure your pet stays out of the chocolates and candies – as well as chewable but not digestible Halloween decorations. Giving them a special, safe treat is a great way to help distract them from the multitude of tempting smells from the trick-or-treat bounty.

Finally, we know you’re going to do it. You’ll dress your pet like a hot dog, a pumpkin, a bumble bee, or some other ridiculous costume. We do it too. Those are truly some of the cutest photos on Instagram. However, keep it brief, as it’s a rare pet that enjoys being wrangled into an uncomfortable, unfamiliar get-up and forced to smile for the camera.

Most of all, have a Happy Halloween, and keep it pet safe!

Aspen is a beautiful white dog who could dress as a ghost with no costume at all. She’s been with us a long time. She was adopted but then was returned. She doesn’t get along with other female dogs, but other than that- she is a true gem.


Second Chance Humane Society’s Animal Resource Center and Shops have served San Miguel, Ouray & Montrose Counties since 1994. Adoption hours are Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 pm. View our shelter pets and services online: